The Crow Family in 1830
harles Crow rejoined the Ocmulgee Church on January 24, 1829, having recently resigned his membership at Siloam Church. Dr. Holly states that part of the motivation was to " . . . join other members of his family and friends in the Oakmulgee community . . . " In 1829 - 30, Charles' family was expanded. Some of his children had married and left his household. The grandchildren were adding up and probably numbered ten.
All of Charles' children except his oldest child Elizabeth, age 33, and her family were residing in Perry County in 1830. Six of his eleven children had established families of their own. Elizabeth was still in South Caro-lina with her husband, Solomon Smith and six children, which consti-tuted her family at the time. She moved to Perry County six years later where she lived out her years. The Smiths eventually had at least ten children.
Martha Crow, age 30, married James Meredith in South Carolina around 1819 and, like Elizabeth, did not migrate with her father when he moved to Alabama. She and James moved to Georgia around 1821 where their second child, Permelia M., was born in 1822. James died, but when and where is unknown. Likewise, when Martha arrived in Perry County is unknown, but she was there by August 24, 1826, the date she married Thomas Harvill. Martha and Thomas are known to have had at least one child together. Nothing more is known about her except that she preceded her father in death.
Silas Harlan Crow, age 27, married Sarah A. Martin, daughter of Clai-borne and Frances Martin, on August 13, 1827. Charles' friend and fellow minister, William Calloway, who was a member of the constitut-ing presbytery at Ocmulgee Church in 1820, conducted the ceremony. The couple had four children before Silas' death in 1838.
Jane F. Crow, age 25, married Abraham W. Jackson around 1825, but the date and place are unknown. Abraham was born in Greene County, Georgia in 1805. His parents, Green B. and Clarisey Jackson, had mi-grated to Perry County from Georgia in 1819 and settled along the Little Oakmulgee Creek about six miles north of the Ocmulgee Church. By 1830, Jane had given birth to at least three children -- Charles Green, age 3; Silas C., age 2; and Sarah M. E., age 1. She would give birth to a total of nine children and die before her father. The date of her death is unknown, but she was alive in 1838. Abraham remarried in 1841 so her death occurred between those two dates.
Elijah Palmer Crow, age 23, married Fedelia West, the first of his two wives, on December 3, 1826. The couple did not have any children in 1830 but had two daughters before Fedelia's death around 1834 or 1835. After Fedelia's death, Elijah married Fanny Oldham Blakey on October 21, 1835 and had moved to Bibb County, Alabama in 1836.
Mary Crow, age 21, married Thomas Billingsley on October 10, 1826. Mary was another of four Crow children who did not outlive her father. It is known that she died before 1837, the year Thomas remarried. They had two children, but their birth years are unknown. Thomas was born in South Carolina in 1799.
The remaining five Crow children were still in Charles' household in 1830. Joshua was 19 and left home two years later; Joseph W. W. was 16 and did not depart for another five years; Jonathan was 14; Rebecca was 11; and Jesse was 9. It will be recalled that Sarah Harlan seems to have died in late 1820 or shortly thereafter. Charles remained a wid-ower for about six years until he married Sarah McCraw in 1827 in a ceremony performed by Noah Haggard who was then pastor at Ocmul-gee Church. In 1830, Charles was sixty years old and had been remar-ried three years.
The 1830 census shows Charles with a household of ten people -- six males and four females. The age ranges listed for the household are con-sistent with the ages of Charles, Sarah McCraw, Joshua, Joseph, Jona-than, Rebecca, and Jesse. This leaves a male, aged 10 -15, and two fe-males, aged 10 - 15 and 50 - 60, unaccounted for. None of their age ranges are consistent with any of the other Crow children. The young boy and girl are probably the orphaned Henry H. and Permelia Mere-dith, the children of Martha Crow and James Meredith. The older fe-male is a mystery.
The writer believes that part of the reason Charles returned to the Oakmulgee Creek community was so he could devote more time to his farm. Successful cotton farming was profitable and yields were high in Perry County making it one of the top cotton producing counties in Ala-bama. A cotton farmer's prospects for increasing his wealth were good for anyone who could accumulate capital, land and labor.
In the 1830's, Perry County experienced a rapid transformation in population. The county was sixty-two per cent white in 1930. This was the last census that would show a white majority. By 1840, the black population would increase 240 per cent and represent fifty-four per cent of the county's population; in 1850, Negroes would be sixty-three per cent of the total. Cotton culture was the cause of this shift in population as people rushed to acquire land and labor in the 1830's.
It appears Charles anticipated the pending growth. On September 15, 1828, he sold 555.6 acres of Dallas County land for $1,400, or $2.52 an acre, to his son in law Thomas Billingsley. Since Charles did not invest in land again until 1838, it is reasonable to presume he used the money to capitalize his expanded venture in cotton production. In 1828, he still owned 316.2 acres after selling the Dallas County land to Billingsley, and probably did not need more land. But he did need labor, and by 1830 he had acquired twelve slaves to go with his acreage. This workforce, com-bined with the three teenage sons still in his household, had the potential to achieve significant cotton production.
During the 1830's, Charles' children acquired land too. If one views a map displaying a layout of land owned by the children and sons in law, a picture emerges showing most of the Crow children clustered in plots of land around and near their father and the Ocmulgee Church. Only Si-las, among the sons, breaks the pattern. His land is in the southwestern part of the county about fourteen miles due west of Charles.
In the 1840's, some of the Crow children and grandchildren began to leave Perry County for homes further west in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, or in other Alabama counties. But in the early 1830's, the Crow family was still together living clustered along the Oakmulgee.